Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business

DESIblitz speaks to business owner Rav Paul about her clothing brand, Saashi London, and her experience in the fashion industry.

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - F

"If you have a passion, it never really feels like work."

Rav Paul and her mum, Jasi, co-own the Indo-fusion fashion brand, Saashi London, designing bespoke luxury attire for everything from wedding functions to parties.

Tired of the limited use of their Indian outfits, the duo sought to create flattering and versatile pieces that would effortlessly blend into both South Asian and English wardrobes.

As co-founders, Rav and Jasi each bring their expertise to the table.

Rav specialises in designing, managing, and marketing, whereas Jasi concentrates on the accounts, administration, and fittings – both vital to Saashi London’s increasing success.

Entering the fashion industry over five years ago, Saashi London initially began as a creative outlet for Rav, who was experiencing a difficult period in her life.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rav began modelling for the brand.

Since then, despite Rav’s initial reservations, Saashi London has grown profoundly, with this visibility sparking the interest of followers.

Beyond fashion, Rav and Jasi use their platform to empower women, reinforcing their confidence and reminding them of their intrinsic self-worth.

We caught up with Rav to ask her all things Saashi London, exploring her experience in the fashion industry, and her vision for the brand’s future.

What motivated you to start your company?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 1I’ve always had an interest in fashion, but that was not what motivated me to start my business.

What motivated me was that I went through a really traumatic breakup with an ex-boyfriend.

I was signed off work for two weeks; I had to have counselling for a year, and it was probably the worst time I’ve ever had in my life.

I would come home from work, and I’d be in my thoughts.

My mum said I couldn’t continue to do this. She said I needed to be doing something else.

Growing up, I’d always designed my own clothes because a lot of the ready-to-wear Indian clothes were so big, and they never fit me. So, I’d just design my own.

My mum said, “Why don’t you just start designing for your friends?”

That’s literally how it started. I started designing for some of my friends.

When did you realise that this was something that would take off?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 12They wore the outfits out and were asked where they got them from.

I realised, ‘Oh, maybe I’m good at this’. Then I started the brand.

It was something I was good at as a hobby, and it became something that got me out of a really bad time.

Before I knew it, it became a fully-fledged business. It was something that saved my mental health.

Because I created the brand at a time when I was in a really sad place, a lot of the marketing is based on empowering women.

A lot of the quotes I use are “You can get through this”, and “You’ve got this”.

Our current season, for example, is called the Comeback Season.

The whole season is based on how women go through a breakup and have a comeback.

I want to give back because Saashi kind of gave me my life back. The way I do that is through what I put out on social media.

What led to the creation of Saashi London’s distinctive style?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 2Being a young adult of this generation, it was really important for me to create a brand that was versatile, and that you could mix and match with your English wardrobe.

So, you can wear our trousers with crop tops from Pretty Little Thing or vice versa, our crop tops with jeans. That was really important to me.

Saashi is quite fun; it’s young, it’s stylish, and it’s really current.

My full-time job is as a buyer for Harrods, so I already know what all the latest trends are, and a lot of my inspiration comes from English fashion.

I also felt growing up that Indian clothes were quite distasteful.

There are a lot of loud bright colours, mixed together, and a lot of the time I feel like it looks like a Christmas tree.

How did you ensure Saashi London’s style remained distinguishable?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 11I really wanted to create a brand that was stripped back, that was modern, and really stylish.

So, Saashi isn’t fully embellished, a lot of the colour tones I use are pastel, things like that.

All of our clothes are really, really comfortable. They’re like English clothes.

They’re all completely bespoke, so the items are made for each customer, which makes them really comfortable to wear.

It was really important to me to create a brand, where if you’re gonna be spending £200-£300, make sure it’s versatile, where you can mix and match and make sure you can get your wear out of it.

I’m pretty sure with your Indian clothes, you’ll wear them at your Indian events, and then you’ll never wear them again.

I think that is something that is key and important to the brand.

What were you doing before you launched Saashi London?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 3I buy for Harrods. That’s my 9-5. That’s what I was doing when I launched Saashi as well.

Harrods is a luxury brand, and I’ve always wanted Saashi to be in that bracket: in terms of our price points, our materials, and the look and feel of the brand.

That’s always been really important to me.

I feel that a lot of inspiration has stemmed from Harrods in terms of marketing.

Because I’m a buyer, a lot of what I’m exposed to is marketing: how does it look visually? How are you marketing it to your customers?

All of that really matters. All of those skills have been quite transferable, and I’ve been able to implement a lot of them with Saashi.

What sets your brand apart from others in the market?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 10The main unique selling point for us is that we are completely bespoke.

We cater to all body shapes and sizes. That’s always really important to me: to make a brand that makes women feel good about themselves.

With the bespoke element, we can make something longer, make something shorter.

What I wear is such a big part of who I am; it’s how I express myself, and I feel that’s always been really important.

If a Saashi customer walks out, it is important that they feel good about themselves. These would be our main selling points.

Are you implementing any measures to ensure sustainability?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 4Exactly, yeah. I think that would be the main point. It is versatile, you can mix and match it.

It’s always been really important to me having these clothes that don’t have an expiry date.

It’s always going to be chic; it’s always going to be in fashion.

Some of my basic core lines have been with me for the last five years.

Our most iconic range is signature lace which is one of the only ranges that has been with me since the beginning. It’s timeless.

Five years on, it’s still my best-selling and most iconic range.

I want to create pieces that are timeless and that are not really going to go out of fashion and that are staples in your wardrobe

Have you collaborated with other designers or brands?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 9Something that is really important to us is collaborating with smaller brands; we do it all the time.

When I had 1-2k followers, it would have been nice if people who had a larger following wanted to collaborate, to give us that opportunity.

I have models, make-up artists, and jewellery brands reach out to us all the time because although we’re a small brand, our content reaches.

I’ve collaborated with many jewellery brands, including Goenka Jewels, Maala London, and Red Dot Jewels.

I’ve also collaborated with hair oil companies and makeup artists.

What has been the most rewarding moment for your fashion business?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 5I think the most rewarding to me was when a customer came to me and said:

“I was at a wedding and I saw someone wearing a Saashi outfit.

“I didn’t ask them where it was from, but I knew it was Saashi London from the way that it looked.”

That’s exactly where I’ve wanted to be from the very beginning.

I’ve always wanted to create a brand with a certain aesthetic and really true to my style and my vision.

Brands like Gucci and YSL have this very distinct style that you know straight away just by looking at it.

That was a really rewarding moment for the brand.

We also did a catwalk last year which we were asked to do, our first ever catwalk. It also felt like that was a moment for us.

What challenges have you experienced setting up Saashi London?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 8The biggest challenge is the fact that I have a full-time job.

I feel that I work seven days a week. I work evenings, I work weekends.

A lot that I have to do has to be out of my working hours, obviously. So that’s a big challenge.

Another challenge that we face is social media algorithms.

Instagram has always been a platform where a lot of our customers come from, and now they are moving to TikTok.

Naturally, I felt like I needed to start to do that.

My presence on TikTok is not as good as it is on Instagram. That’s been a bit of a challenge, trying to get more customers in.

There was a spike in the last two years where we grew really quickly, but now I feel it is kind of going the other way.

We are having to put a lot more work in, which means a lot more content, which in turn means a lot more time.

So, social media has been quite challenging for us.

I do think we are a luxury brand, so if you are shopping with us, you are spending over around £270.

People are becoming more conscious of where they are spending their money, especially in the current climate. That’s been quite challenging.

What factors influenced the creation of your chat show, Saashi Speaks?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 6The fact that the South Asian community doesn’t talk about certain things I feel needs to be discussed more.

There are lots of restraints and a lot of things we think we can’t do because of things the older generation has imposed on us.

I wanted to discuss things that were not discussed in the wider community in order to help other people going through things.

We did a Saashi Speaks on egg freezing, for example.

They are one-hour episodes and you just tune in via Instagram live.

What’s really nice about them is that we also ask influencers and small business owners to join in these chats, so it’s quite relatable.

I felt that if I had a brand with a platform, I had a responsibility to change the cycle.

We’ve spoken about periods and how most South Asian girls won’t talk to their dads about periods. It shouldn’t be something we should be embarrassed about.

Marriage, in-laws, dating, sexuality, friendships, relationships – we’ve covered quite a lot.

I always say on Saashi Speaks, “Get your parents to watch this”.

I think as much as that generation can educate us, they are still a generation that needs educating.

We need to be the generation for change.

How do you envision the future of Saashi London?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 7Number one, I need to scale the brand.

I do want a ready-to-wear range that people can purchase straight off the website.

Right now, I feel a lot of what I’m doing, although it’s amazing and we can cater to all bodies, shapes and sizes, does take up a lot of my time.

I think it would be nice to create a range where customers can order straight off the shelf.

I think that’s the next step for me, scaling it, so there is less stress for me and my mum so we can focus on other things.

I really want Saashi to be a household name. I want people to recognise it, I want people to want to wear it because of the branding.

If there was any goal for Saashi, that would be it, to be a brand that people want to wear because it makes people feel good about themselves.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses?

Rav Paul on Saashi London, Fusion Wear & Starting Your Own Business - 13I think that if you have a passion, it never really feels like work.

If you want to start something, make sure it’s something you are really passionate about.

There is a fun side to owning a business – you get invited to nice places, or you get sent nice things – but really and truly it’s a lot of hard work.

I work seven days a week, and I don’t know if that’s for everyone.

I’m not promoting the fact that you need to work that much, but owning your own business is really hard work and you kind of need to know a little about everything.

As fun as it looks, definitely only do something if you are passionate about it as there is so much you don’t see, that doesn’t make it onto Instagram, for instance.

I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my mum.

I feel like a lot of people think that owning a business is just adding things on Instagram, but I don’t think I would have been able to do it without her.

Saashi London’s success owes itself to Rav and Jasi’s determination and creative vision.

Their brand ingeniously merges cultural influences to create bespoke pieces, guaranteeing an enduring presence in wardrobes for years to come.

DESIblitz can’t wait to see what Rav Paul gets up to next.

To discover more, you can check out Saashi London on Instagram here.

Natasha is an English and History graduate with a passion for travel, photography and writing. One of her favourite quotes is “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ by Maya Angelou.”

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